How to Heal Your Unhealthy Relationship Patterns

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Eight things you can do to find healing.

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Your body, your brain, and your emotional life are primed for healing. If you find yourself stuck in unhealthy patterns, this is not the way you are meant to live.

Lately, I’ve been thinking and writing about healing because it can create true and real change. Getting closer to the roots is uncomfortable, but it is often the only way to fully recover. For more on my series on the topic of healing, click this link.

Your body, your brain, and your emotional life are primed for healing. If you find yourself stuck in unhealthy patterns, this is not the way you are meant to live.

The trouble is, no one can give you a roadmap to healing. No one can give you three steps to recovery. In reality, even the 12 steps may not be enough, because healing is truly a unique and personal journey. So what can you do to help your healing? Here are eight things you can do to heal from unhealthy patterns.

Eight Things You Can Do to Heal from Unhealthy Relationship Patterns

1.Show up every day. Healing is not about getting it done now. Often, you have to work on healing in the in-between moments, while juggling your work, family, and personal commitments. Remember that your body wants and is designed to heal. See articles on the use of visualization to heal chronic pain, promising studies on healing and traumatic brain injury, and addiction and new brain growth.

2.Discover where you excel. Your strengths are helping to build a more positive, life-giving story about your future. The more you understand about yourself, the more it will pull you forward to a better life.

3.Talk. Your brain will change when you talk to other people. But if you are engaging in negative, repetitive gossip or if you are repeating negative problem-heavy stories, that will just keep you in the same patterns. Talking to a recovery group, a therapist or a mentor may be what you need to break out of unhelpful patterns.

4.Walk. Exercise will unlock the body and unclutter the mind. Do whatever you like, but be active. An active body is essential to an active mind.

5.Declutter. A cluttered, unfocused mind is not healthy. You move from project to project without finishing anything. De-cluttering may be one of the best ways to begin your healing because you have more energy for what is important.

Healing is not about getting it done now. Often, you have to work on healing in the in-between moments, while juggling your work, family, and personal commitments.

6.Identify what is not working but don’t try to change anything. Don’t rush to eliminate it. Sit with it, accept that you have some genuine reasons for the behaviour. Avoidant behavior may be self-protection from traumatic experiences. Getting high might be a way to regain a sense of control over an out-of-control past or an out-of-control emotional life. Procrastination might be a way to keep things safe because change can feel overwhelming. Remember that needs are being met, even if your behaviour is unhealthy. Uncovering your needs and finding healthy ways to meet them may help to reduce the scope, the impact or the size of your unhealthy behavior.

7.Be a learner. Learning, being open to new things, welcome spontaneity will open you up to more of what life has to offer. That includes healing.

8.Forgive yourself. Forgiveness is a gift. Like any gift, it needs to be opened and used. That means you need to use it daily.  It is a choice to forgive. Forgiving is not about letting someone off of the hook. Forgiveness just allows you to save your energy for what you can actually fix. It is a risk that is worth taking.

Remember: A life well lived is the best recovery plan.

I write articles about wellness, leadership, parenting and personal growth. My hope is to deliver the best content I can to inspire, to inform and to entertain. Sign up for my blog if you want to receive the latest and best of my writing.

Lastly, if you like my writing, you can click here to vote for my page on Psych Central’s list of mental health blogs.

Keep it Real

Photo by Marc Wathieu

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